Saturday, June 11, 2011

SEA Anglicans: Stop Divisive Actions If Adopting Covenant

From Christian Post-

Amid strained relations, the Anglican Communion Covenant offers a promise of deeper fellowship and trust.

But divisive churches need to rescind actions that oppose the biblical design for marriage before adopting the Covenant, highlighted the Church in Southeast Asia.

The statement by the Province of South East Asia appears in a preamble to the Letter of Accession.

South East Asia became the fourth province to adopt the Covenant.

In the 3,215-word document, the province noted that tensions arose within the Anglican Communion as a consequence of certain controversial actions of North American churches.

In 2002, the Diocese of Westminster decided to authorise services for same-sex unions.

A year later, The Episcopal Church (TEC) consecrated a priest living in a committed, same-sex relationship as a bishop.

The decisions were made in spite of a resolution that was passed at an international Anglican consultation in 1998.

More here-

Same-sex marriage will lead to polygamy, says Jensen

From Australia-

ALLOWING same-sex couples to marry could lead to the acceptance of polygamy and incest, the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, has warned.

Writing in the church's newspaper, Southern Cross, Dr Jensen said the push for same-sex unions to be enshrined in the Marriage Act was not a drive for the extension of rights but the redefinition of ''one of the indispensable foundations of community''.

''Ensuring public honour of same-sex relationships by calling them marriages is an abuse of marriage itself,'' he said.

Read more:

Vatican hopes postponed event marks end to illicit ordinations in China

From Catholic News-

The Vatican said it hoped the postponement of an illicit episcopal ordination in the diocese of Hankou would mark the end to all ordinations without papal approval in China.

The Vatican confirmed the planned illicit ordination of Father Joseph Shen Guoan was postponed indefinitely; he was to have been ordained bishop of Hankou, or Wuhan, June 9.

Passionist Father Ciro Benedettini, vice director of the Vatican press office, told Catholic News Service June 10 that the Vatican hopes "this kind of ordination without the permission of the pope doesn't ever happen again."

There was no new date set for the ordination or explanation for the postponement.

The postponement came after the Hong Kong-born secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples urged priests and bishops in China to show "some backbone" and resist government pressure to disobey the pope.

In an interview with the Rome-based AsiaNews June 3, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai said he had been aware of the planned illicit ordination in Hankou and that he knew the faithful there had been urging the government and the Chinese Patriotic Association not to go through with the ordination.

More here-

Camp Mokuleia renovation pau, diocese reports

From Hawaii-

The Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii recently completed a $1 million renovation of Camp Mokuleia, formerly a favorite venue for retreats, family reunions and vacations.

A key part of the overhaul resulted from the hiring two years ago of David Turner, an ordained United Church of Christ minister and a chaplain at Punahou School, as an interim executive director, according to a news release from the diocese's board of directors. He was made the permanent director, a position vacant since 2001, in April.

"For the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ, this is one of their first joint ministerial calls in Hawaii in over 150 years and celebrates a spirit of collaboration," the release said.

Over the years, the camp became run-down and lost its popularity, but Turner turned the operation around financially and physically, and made the camp environmentally sustainable, the release said. The camp also offers its own programs, which include a Challenge Course, garden activities, nature-based activities and an emphasis on Hawaiian culture and wisdom, to schools and church and business groups.

more here-

Friday, June 10, 2011

Help them get back-to-school shoes this fall

From North Carolina-

Volunteers from local congregations including St. Alban’s Episcopal Church and Davidson United Methodist Church will start raising money this month to help buy back-to-school shoes for needy area families.

They’ll be manning a booth Saturday, June 18, at the Davidson Farmers Market for the “Count your shoes so they can count on shoes” drive.

The goal is to raise funds to provide shoes for local children in need for the 2011-2012 school year. All funds raised will be used to purchase shoes which will be distributed on Aug. 20 at the Ada Jenkins Center, just in time for back to school.

The suggested donation is to count the shoes in your closet and donate 50 cents for each pair. Alternatively you may sponsor a child for a mere $10. The money will give each child a new pair of socks and shoes. In addition, all children up to fifth grade will receive a school back sack with ruler, pencils and paper (thanks to Office Depot and Samaritan’s Feet for the supplies and shoes).

Donations are tax deductible. Cash and checks made out to Ada Jenkins Center with “shoe giveaway” on the memo line will be accepted.

More here-

Church group home after mission trip

From Central Gulf Coast-

Members of St. Christopher's Episcopal Church in Pensacola are expected to return home today from a mission trip to Le Pretre, Haiti.

The group is flying into Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport from Miami on American Airlines and are expected to arrive at 10:30 p.m. A delegation from St. Christopher's plans to welcome them home. The public is invited.

Volunteer workers on the trip include Shelley Long, Dianne Blair Vogelsang, Skip Vogelsang, Sandy Fairchild, Dr. Rex Northup, Larry Northup, Nancy Kulb and The Rev. Susan Sowers, associate rector at St. Christopher's.

Rex Northup is a pediatrician/neonatologist at Sacred Heart Children's Hospital and Nancy Kulb is a nurse practitioner. Sowers is a retired army colonel and West Point graduate. Shelley Long, an educator, is wife of the Rev. Eric Long, rector of St. Christopher's.

More here-

Montclair pastor gets hate mail over interfaith service

From Newark-

The Rev. Andrew Butler of Montclair's progressive St. John's Episcopal Church has been receiving hate mail, calling him a "damn fool" and saying that he has made a "mockery out of Christianity," because he decided to hold an interfaith worship service for both Muslims and Christians.

The Rev. Andrew Butler reads hate letters and emails against Muslims he received before and after he held a May 22 interfaith service at his church, St. John's Episcopal Church.
The May 22 service was intended to unite Christian and Muslim traditions and together worship God, Butler said.

But his efforts were met with hostility, when he received 10 written and typed letters, and a dozen emails, saying, "Your action was wrong," and "Muslims are not our friends."

"It's disturbing to me," Butler said. "It's disturbing, and shocking, and yet fascinating at the same time."

Butler said he has not received any direct threats.

The letters began arriving after Butler posted a release about the event on an online site operated by the Episcopal News Service. Some letters came from America's Midwest, and as far away as New Zealand, he said.

More here-

US Ordinariate flock to stay in its building

From The Church Times-

THE first congregation in the United States to decide to withdraw from an Episcopalian diocese and join an Ordinariate under Pope Benedict XVI’s new provision has announced its intentions.

St Luke’s, Bladensburg, in Mary land, which has a 100-strong congregation, will come under the care of the RC archdiocese of Washing ton, until an Ordinariate is established in the US. The decision to secede was taken by the church’s vestry in January, and approved by the congregation last Sunday. Only one family is said to have voted against the move.

A statement on the church’s website said: “We look forward to continuing to worship in the Anglican tradition, while at the same time being in full communion with the Holy See of Peter.”
The Bishop of Washington, the Rt Revd John Bryson Chane, said that he had approved the decision, which had been made with “mutual respect”.

“Christians move from one Church to another with far greater frequency than in the past, some times as individuals, sometimes as groups. I was glad to be able to meet the spiritual needs of the people and priest of St Luke’s in a way that respects the tradition and polity of both of our Churches.”

Under the terms of a letter of agreement, signed last week with the diocese of Washington, the con­gregation of St Luke’s will continue to worship in the church under a lease, which also gives them an option to purchase.

Members of the congregation will begin preparations for reception into the RC Church later this year, while the Rector of St Luke’s, the Revd Mark Lewis, who is married, will begin the process to be re­ordained as a priest.

More here-

Dean: Cathedral Fights ‘Monetary Asphyxiation’

From The Living Church-

A 2012-2014 strategic plan for Washington National Cathedral will help place the cathedral on a firmer financial footing, the cathedral’s dean, the Very Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd III, said June 5. He said the strategic plan, which includes both short- and long-term objectives, precedes a capital campaign, which will kick off shortly.

Speaking at the cathedral during a participatory town hall meeting, Lloyd said the challenge “that has haunted the cathedral from the beginning” is how it can prevent “monetary asphyxiation” (a phrase used by the cathedral’s late dean Francis Sayre) and sustain itself.

Strengthening the cathedral’s endowment is essential to avoid “endlessly having to chase that money,” the dean said. “We know the need is great,” he said. “We need a $400 million endowment to be sustainable for the ages; this is a first step.” (The current endowment is about $51 million.)

Lloyd said the vision in the strategic plan, which includes four overall goals, is meant to inspire people to think of Washington National Cathedral as the spiritual home of the nation and a convener of issue-oriented public national gatherings.

More here-

Butte soup kitchen expands, changes name

From Montana-

A soup kitchen in Butte has expanded and changed its name.

The Shepherds Fold Soup Kitchen is now the Shepherds Community Meal of St John's Episcopal Church. It's serving food an extra day each week.

Father Smith says they are now serving lunch from noon to 2 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday. The extra day is due to extra people coming in for food. In the last month they've served almost 350 people and that's why it's now called a "community meal" instead of a soup kitchen.

"The meal is a community based phenomenon, not just for Episcopalians, but for anyone who's hungry. But it's also for college students, people working uptown, anybody who'd like to come in," Smith said.

The community meal is located at St John's Episcopal Church at the intersection of Broadway and Idaho streets.

Bloy House and EDS launch joint Master of Divinity program

From ENS-

Bloy House students will be able to earn a joint Master of Divinity degree through the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont and the distributive learning program of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in a new program, according to a statement released by the seminaries.

The first student to participate in the joint program, involving completion of two-thirds coursework at Bloy House and the final one-third at EDS, will enroll in coursework in the upcoming June term, the statement said.
The agreement will allow Bloy House Master of Divinity students to receive degrees from an accredited Episcopal seminary through online course work and summer and weekend intensives on the EDS campus, making it easier for those continuing in employment to finish their degree program.

Strong ties between the two institutions helped facilitate the development of this new relationship, according to the statement. The Rev. Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook served as academic dean at EDS before coming to Bloy House and Claremont School of Theology in 2009. The Rev. Harvey Guthrie is a member of the Bloy House board of trustees and a former dean of EDS as well.

More here-

Guest Commentary: Church Should Remain With Episcopal Diocese

From Falls Church-

As descendants of John Trammell, who donated land for the Falls Church Episcopal Church, my brothers and I strongly believe the property should remain with the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia as it has for over 270 years. From our research and family histories, there is nothing to indicate that John Trammell intended anything other than that the land be used by the established, traditional church of that time, whose vestry would include George Washington and other establishment figures.

The official website of the church states in the lead paragraph of the section on its history: "The first church to be built after it was established by the Colonial General Assembly in 1732 was a wooden building on this site as a part of Truro Parish. It was completed in 1734 by Richard Blackburn on land donated by John Trammell. Until that time, this area was served by [a] clergyman who lived near present-day Quantico, and the nearest church was Occoquan Church near Lorton."

Our great (6) grandfather (that is our great-grandfather's great-grandfather's grandfather), the John Trammell cited above, carved out enough land from his 250 acre farm for the new church to be built and deeded that land to what would become the Episcopal Church for that purpose. The historical marker at 312 Park Avenue in Falls Church notes the gift from the Trammell tract.
John Trammell's farm was near what is now the intersection of Routes 7 and 29 in downtown Falls Church on land he had acquired in the 1720s.

He was the son of indentured servants, Thomas and Dorothy Trammell, who, as teenagers, had secured their 1670 passage to the New World. After his four years of indenture, Thomas successfully sued for his freedom and then moved his family up the Potomac from Westmoreland County, where he and Dorothy had originally come, arriving at the area of the falls of the Potomac. Their children and grandchildren helped settle this area of northern Virginia, homesteading various parcels of land in what are now Arlington, Falls Church, Fairfax and Loudon Counties.

More here-

US bishop ends ban on blessing of same-sex couples

From San Joaquin (via England)-

Gay marriage still unauthorised but California bishop gives support to same-gender civil marriages, domestic partnerships and relationships

A bishop in the US Episcopal church has authorised the use of blessings for same-sex couples, breaking a ban on one of the most divisive issues affecting the Anglican communion.

Chester Talton, from the diocese of San Joaquin, in California, has told clergy they may perform blessings of "same-gender civil marriages, domestic partnerships and relationships which are lifelong committed relationships characterised by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect [and] careful, honest communication".

The US state recognises domestic partnerships between gay and heterosexual couples as long as one or both of the people involved is 62 or older. Same-sex marriages were also legal for a short while in the state.

A statement from the diocese said: "We must also recognise there are same-gender couples in relationships who have not entered in domestic partnerships, perceiving them to be inferior to marriage and who, for various reasons, did not or could not marry during the brief time when same gender marriages were legal.

More here-

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Anglican Head: British Coalition Adopting 'Policies No One Voted for'

From Christian Post-

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, has rebuked the British coalition government, saying that it is committing Britain to “radical, long-term policies for which no one voted.”

Writing as a guest editor for the New Statesman magazine, Dr Williams told there was “indignation” at the lack of “proper public argument” on issues of health, education and welfare reforms.

The spiritual head of the worldwide Anglican Communion told that the government’s Big Society program was seen with “widespread suspicion” throughout Britain. The Big Society initiative is a plan introduced by British Prime Minister David Cameron that aims to shrink the state and hand more control of services to volunteer groups. However, Williams described it as a “stale” slogan which is viewed as an “opportunistic” cover for spending cuts.

He accused the British coalition government of creating “anxiety and anger” by introducing reforms without sufficient debate and consultation.

Williams also reveals there is widespread concern that the government will abandon its commitments to tackling child poverty, illiteracy, and improving access to the best schools in Britain.

More here-

World War II airman's remains coming home to Iowa

From Iowa-

The remains of an Iowa serviceman are coming home, 66 years after he disappeared when his bomber was hit by German gunfire over Hungary.

Staff Sgt. Marvin "Steiney" Steinford of Keystone was 22 when he bailed out of the damaged B-17 "Flying Fortress" on March 24, 1945, the military said Wednesday.

A memorial service has been set for 2 p.m. June 21 at Christ Episcopal Church in Cedar Rapids, to be followed by graveside services at Cedar Memorial Cemetery, also in Cedar Rapids.

Steinford's bomber was headed for Berlin when it was struck by German anti-aircraft fire between German and Soviet lines. No one knew what happened to him until 2004, when Hungarian officials notified their American counterparts that they had found remains that possibly included U.S. service members.

More here-

Historic St. Timothy's to mark 175th anniversary Sunday

From Ohio-

The bright, red doors of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church have beckoned to a Who’s Who of city residents over the years.

City founder James Duncan, influential businessmen J. Walter McClymonds, C.M. Russell and Thomas H. Russell, stage and screen stars Dorothy and Lillian Gish and Congressmen John Warwick and Ralph Regula are among the names woven into the history of the old stone church overlooking the corner of Third Street and Tremont Avenue SE.

In 1991, the church hosted the funeral for legendary Massillon Tiger, college and NFL coach Paul Brown.

The service was standing-room only, according to church member Margy Vogt, a local historian.

“Most of us were on the outside looking in. It was very large. I’m thinking they had a list of people who could go in,” Vogt said.

Founded in 1836, St. Timothy’s, 226 Third St. SE, is preparing to celebrate its 175th anniversary with special services at 8 and 10 a.m. Sunday.

More here-

Elizabeth Lowell named Episcopal Church project manager for fundraising

From ENS-

Elizabeth Moulton Lowell has been named project manager for fundraising in the Office of Mission Funding of the Episcopal Church. Her position was announced June 7 by Linda Watt, chief operating officer for the Episcopal Church.

Lowell will focus on the Episcopal Church Archives Project, cultivating major prospects, and participating in the churchwide preparation for General Convention 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. In this role, Lowell will provide expert advice to and work alongside the staff of the Mission Funding Office including team leader, the Rev. Carol Hoidra, according to a press release.

"As a 'cradle Episcopalian,' I am delighted by the opportunity to serve the church I hold so dear with my fundraising skills and experience," Lowell said.

As a partner in Raybin Associates, Inc., Lowell consulted with a variety of non-profit organizations in New York, New England and nationally, focusing largely on libraries, educational institutions and church-related organizations. Episcopal organizations and churches which she has assisted include Saint Mary the Virgin and Heavenly Rest in New York City; El Hogar Ministries in the Episcopal Diocese of Honduras; Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and the Diocese of New Westminster in Vancouver, Canada. Lowell also has been working in partnership with others on the Episcopal Church Archives Project.

More here

George Young, fourth bishop of Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee, to be ordained on June 25

From East Tennessee-

Bishop-elect George Dibrell Young III will be ordained and consecrated bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee at 11 a.m. June 25 at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension, Knoxville.

Young will be the fourth bishop to serve the diocese since its establishment in 1985. It has been 12 years since a bishop has been ordained in the diocese. Young succeeds Rt. Rev. Charles Glenn vonRosenberg, who was elected in 1998 and ordained in 1999.

The presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, will be chief consecrator. The Rt. Rev. William Evan Sanders and the vonRosenberg, the first and third bishops of the diocese, will participate in the ordination. The Rt. Rev. Robert Gould Tharp, second bishop of the diocese died in 2003.

More here-

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Former Pirate Pagan dies at 76

From Pittsburgh-

Former Pirates Jose Pagan, who drove in the winning run in Game 7 of the 1971 World Series, died Tuesday at age 76.

Pagan, who played 15 seasons in the major leagues, joined the Pirates in 1965 after the San Francisco Giants traded him for Dick Schofield. He spent the next seven seasons with the Pirates.

Pagan played numerous positions, including shortstop, first base, third base and outfield.

Born May 5, 1935 in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico, Pagan was 24 when he broke into the majors with the Giants in 1959.

He was a career .250 batter and had 138 doubles, 52 home runs and 372 RBI. He finished his career with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1973.

With the Pirates leading the Baltimore Orioles, 1-0, in the eighth inning in Game 7 of the '71 World Series, Pagan doubled to drive in Willie Stargell, securing a 2-1 victory.

The Pirates observed a moment of silence before last night's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at PNC Park.

Shake rattle and toll

From New Zealand-

St Mary's Anglican Church will have more than one reason to celebrate Pentecost this Sunday.

They will also toll one of their quake-hit church bells on its new frame for the first time.

Priest Associate Rory Redmayne, 65, spearheaded an effort to get the peal of bells, which had to be dismantled after the quake, back into service.

The Merivale church's bell tower was badly damaged in the February quake and had to be taken down.

This followed damage to St Mary's in the September quake, which forced parishioners to hold services elsewhere.

The largest of the peal of eight bells retrieved from the rubble was broken - and while the other seven remained intact, the frame was badly damaged.

''The idea occurred to me that it would be a symbol of hope to have at least one of those bells ringing again,'' Mr Redmayne said.

''I thought one bell was better than none.''

More here-

Anglican church ordains first female priests

From Ghana-

The Anglican Diocese of Accra has ordained the first three women deaconesses as priests of the Anglican Church of Ghana.

The three are Rev. Mrs. Stella Bentsi-Enchil, Rev. Mrs. Alberta Kennies Addo, and Rev. Ms. Susanna C. Naana Ackun.

In a sermon, the Archbishop and Primate of the Church of the Province of West Africa and Bishop of Accra, the Most Rev Dr Justice O. Akrofi, reminded the new priests of their call to fulfill the vision of God for mankind.

He said they had been called among many and, therefore, they should act as leaders with great respect, humility, patience and love for all.

He reminded them of the various gifts which God had endowed them with and urged them to facilitate the different gifts within the church in order to promote its growth.

The Most Rev Dr Akrofi also urged them to uphold holiness and make Christ the centre of their lives.

More here-

Through a child's eyes

Missouri youth group helping build Winona Habitat house

From Missouri-

A youth group from Kirkwood, Mo., hoped to escape the Southern heat while working in Winona this week.

On Tuesday, they sweated under an unusually cruel Minnesota sun.

The 24-person team from Grace Episcopal Church is in town for its annual youth mission trip and is building a home at 269 Chatfield St. with the help of the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

The structure will become home to the family of Tiffany and David Mitchell, who hope to move in before Christmas. On Tuesday, the Mitchells helped with the construction — Habitat requires homeowners spend 300 hours working on their new house — while getting to know the Missouri group, like Carly Wooldridge, 18, who has participated in the mission trip for the past four years.
“The families are so deserving of what they get, and they really put a lot of work into their home,” Wooldridge said.

More here-

Would-Be Episcopal Priest, Sarah Sentilles, Shares the Story of Her Lost Faith in 'Breaking Up With God

From San Fransisco

Sarah Sentilles was about to be ordained as an Episcopal priest when she lost her faith in God.

To put it in perspective-she was engaged and the wedding invitations were sent. Calling things off was more than a little awkward.

In Breaking Up with God: A Love Story (HarperOne; Hardcover; June 2011), Sentilles tells the deeply personal story of her difficult decision to leave not only the priesthood, but to let go of Christianity altogether. She had spent years immersed in the religion-from CCD to youth ministry to Harvard Divinity-and had, as an adult, wholeheartedly embraced the religion that had defined her youth. And yet one day she woke up and was over.

Not unlike a divorce, Sentilles had to reorient her life and face a future that felt darkly unfamiliar. Her relationship with God was connected to everything-her family, her friends, her vocation, her language, her very existence-and without religion as her script, she was forced to rediscover herself and find a new purpose in the world.

In a brave and honest voice, and writing in the tradition of Barbara Brown Taylor and Sue Monk Kidd, Sentilles offers a powerful memoir of faith that explores our deep and lasting ties to God-and just how difficult they can be to break.

Read more:

54 Priests for UK Ordinariate, Episcopal Parish to Enter US Catholic Church

From Catholic Online- (with video)

Pentecost Sunday is when Catholics celebrate the birth of the missionary church in power. There, in the Cenacle, as the Lord Jesus had promised, the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples who, gathered with Our Lady, had waited and prayed. How fitting that during this month when we celebrate Pentecost over 50 men will be ordained to the Holy priesthood in a series of ordinations throughout England and Wales.

These Catholic priests will be ordained for service to the whole Catholic Church but assigned to Our Lady of Walsingham Ordinariate for England and Wales. One Thousand former Anglicans have now come into the full communion of the Catholic Church and are living the ancient yet ever new Catholic Christian faith within the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, under the leadership of the Ordinary, Monsignor Keith Newton.

The members of Our Lady of Walsingham Ordinariate are fully Catholic, living the ancient Catholic faith in the heart of the Church, loyal to the Vicar of Christ and successor of Peter, while still maintaining an Anglican Patrimony. The whole Church is being enhanced by their presence. They are a seed, a sign of hope, as the prophetic work of the Ordinariate spreads throughout the whole world.

More here-

Md. Episcopal Church Becomes First to Join Catholic Church

From Christian Post-

An Episcopal church in Maryland will be the first in the nation to join the Roman Catholic Church, both church groups announced Monday.

Both the members and pastor of St. Luke's Episcopal parish in Bladensburg, Md., will be converting to Catholicism under a process set up by the Vatican to bring disaffected Episcopalians and Anglicans into its fold.

St. Luke's, a small congregation of about 100, will come under the care of the Archdiocese of Washington until an ordinate is established in the United States.

"My decision to seek reception in the Personal Ordinariate of the Roman Catholic Church was not influenced so much by a desire to leave Anglicanism as it was to enter into full communion with the Holy See of Peter," the Rev. Mark W. Lewis, rector of St. Luke's Parish, said in a statement.

For several years, The Episcopal Church – the U.S. member of the Anglican Communion – has been consecrating women clergy and openly homosexual bishops.

Lewis indicated those issues alone are not what led St.Luke's to leave Anglicanism, but rather it was a desire for a more defined religious authority.

More here-

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Relief effort of area church for Carolina tornado victims

From North Carolina-

A box truck sat outside St. John’s Episcopal church on Carmel road in south Charlotte Sunday waiting to be filled with donations for tornado victims.

Jack Conlan, who serves as the church’s outreach director, was up early Sunday to open the back of the truck.

The church is working with Wake Interfaith Team and the Wake County Long Term Recovery Organization to help provide much needed items like bed sheet, blankets, pillows, bath accessories, and all types of baby items.

“It means so much to give these items to people as they transition back to normal,” said Conlan.

Saint John’s wants to fill the truck up completely with donated items that they have collected since Memorial Day. They plan to drive and deliver on Monday.

“It feels great. St. John’s is a great church. They always come forward when people need help,” said Judie Ratcliffe.

More here-

St. Augustine’s gets ready to dedicate new church

From Washington State-

St. Augustine’s in-the-Woods Episcopal Church will dedicate its new addition next weekend, a 9,400-square-foot, two-story expansion that nearly doubles the size of the church’s facilities.

“This is the parish’s commitment to the future with the same sense of optimism of the people who came before us,” said Harry Anderson, who as senior warden is the top lay person in the church.

“This will be our testament and our legacy,” Anderson said.

The new $2 million expansion includes an entry, fellowship hall, staff offices, lounge, restrooms, kitchen, storage and mechanical room, plus unfinished space, including the basement, that can be used later.

The project, primarily financed with contributions from the congregation, is perhaps the largest on South Whidbey in the past few years, Anderson said.

More here-

Groups eye permanent homeless shelter

From Bethlehem-

While the homeless community in Wyoming Valley mourns the loss of two of its members, several organizations are engaged in discussions to bring a permanent homeless shelter to downtown Wilkes-Barre by fall.

Catholic Social Services, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, United Way and the Commission on Economic Opportunity have been talking about establishing a permanent shelter to address a growing need in the community.

“We need a location where the homeless can walk to the shelter and walk to the services they need,” said Monsignor Joseph Kelly, diocesan executive director of Catholic Social Services. “It will take our community to meet these needs.”

REACH Inc., a drop-in center operating in the basement of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church on South Franklin Street, will close July 1 because of budgetary constraints.

More here-

Diocese of Haiti plans to elect bishop suffragan

From ENS-

The Episcopal Diocese of Haiti has received the church's permission to elect a bishop suffragan, according to a June 6 press release.

Diocesan Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin requested the position and his request received the canonically required consent (Canon III.11.10(b) (2)) of the majority of bishops with jurisdiction and diocesan standing committees, the press release from the Episcopal Church's Office of Public Affairs said.

This will be the diocese's first bishop suffragan.
The release said no date had been determined for the election.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori's office notified the Diocese of Haiti on May 26 that the required majority of consents in the canonical consent process have been received. The presiding bishop confirmed the receipt of consents from a majority of bishops with jurisdiction, and reviewed the evidence of consents from a majority of standing committees of the church sent to her by the diocesan standing committee, the release said.

The bishop suffragan will assist Duracin as he serves the people and clergy of the diocese, numerically the largest diocese in the Episcopal Church.

More here-

Md. Episcopal church to become Catholic

From The Boston Globe-

An Episcopal church in Bladensburg, Md., has decided to become the first in the country to convert to Roman Catholicism under new Vatican rules, the Episcopal Diocese of Washington announced yesterday.

St. Luke’s, a small, tightknit congregation founded in 1895, had been thinking about becoming Roman Catholic since 2009. Last year, in the wake of a remarkable bid by the Vatican to reach out to disaffected Anglicans, it made an overture to the local Catholic Archdiocese.

The church has more than 100 members and a tradition dating back to the turbulent Anglican separation from the Roman Catholic church during the 16th-century Protestant Reformation.

The conversion helps “bridge and heal a wound that has existed between Rome and Anglicanism for nearly five hundred years,’’ the rector at St. Luke’s, the Rev. Mark Lewis, said on the church’s website.

In January, the St. Luke’s vestry affirmed a decision to become Catholic, and on Sunday the parish community voiced its approval. Only one family expressed reservations, Lewis said.

More here-

also here-

Monday, June 6, 2011

Austin-area church helps tornado ravaged towns in Ala., Miss.

From Texas (with video)

An Austin-area church is providing long-term relief for victims of the tornadoes that hit Alabama and Mississippi in April.
Saint Luke’s on the Lake Episcopal Church is raising money and collecting supplies to help out families in some of the smaller towns that were hit. Allen Griswold is leading the drive to places like Smithville, Mississippi. He’s already made two trips through the tornado ravaged areas and is planning a third for later this week.

“This is a marathon, this is not a sprint,” he said. “One of the things they ask you with tears in their eyes, all men and women, ‘are you coming back? Please come, don’t forget us.’”

The church is also gathering money, food, tents and medical supplies for two small towns in Alabama; Hackleburg and Phil Campbell. Thirteen percent of Phil Campbell’s 1800 residents are still recovering in the hospital.

Last month, church member Tom Gress volunteered to help deliver supplies to thankful families in Phil Campbell.

More here-

Church celebrates 100 years of growth

From Michigan-

Through the last 100 years, St. John's Episcopal Church in Plymouth has remained a constant in the community. The Rev. Dorian McGlannan, pastor, attributes the congregation's endurance to “listening and adapting to changes in culture and the church.”

What began in 1898 as a meeting of six women in the home of Mrs. Warren Mills has grown to 325 families.

The church had ups and downs along the way, including an eight-year hiatus due to dwindling attendance. It resumed services in 1911 in the Universalist Church on the corner of Dodge and Union and on Feb. 19, 1912 became a mission of the diocese. An Episcopalian congregation remains a mission until it is financially self-sustaining. Parish status was granted in 1944 and in 1955 a campaign began to build the church on Sheldon between Ann Arbor Road and Ann Arbor Trail. Ground was broken Sept. 6, 1959 and the first service held June 5, 1960.

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Episcopal diocese taps Omaha native

From Omaha-

A New Yorker would return to some deep Omaha roots if he ends up the 11th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska.
The Rev. J. Scott Barker was elected Saturday during a special diocesan council at St. Mark's Pro-Cathedral in Hastings, Neb.

Barker is among the sixth generation of the Barker family in Omaha. The prominent family at one time owned thousands of acres of prime Omaha real estate. One of those locations became the site of the Barker Building on the southwest corner of 15th and Farnam Streets.

Another step is required before Barker can be ordained as bishop. Under church canons, a majority of bishops exercising jurisdiction and diocesan standing committees must consent to the bishop-elect's ordination within 120 days of receiving notice of the election, said Don Rabbe, a spokesman for the Nebraska diocese.

If Barker receives the consent, he will succeed the Rt. Rev. Joe G. Burnett. Burnett resigned as bishop of Nebraska to take a position as assistant bishop in the Diocese of Delaware.
Barker, 47, has been rector of Christ Church in Warwick, N.Y., since 2002. He was elected on the second ballot from among three nominees, Rabbe said.

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Nebraska diocese elects J. Scott Barker as bishop

From Nebraska-

The Rev. J. Scott Barker was elected on June 4 as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska, pending the required consents from a majority of bishops with jurisdiction and standing committees of the Episcopal Church.

Barker, 47, rector of Christ Church, Warwick, New York, was elected on the second ballot out of a field of three nominees. He received 78 votes of 111 cast in the lay order and 49 of 74 cast in the clergy order. An election on that ballot required 57 in the lay order and 38 in the clergy order.

The election was held during a special diocesan council meeting held at St. Mark's Pro-Cathedral in Hastings, Nebraska.

Pending a successful consent process, Barker will succeed Bishop Joe G. Burnett, who resigned as bishop of Nebraska and has taken a position as bishop assistant in the Diocese of Delaware.

Under the canons (III.11.4) of the Episcopal Church, a majority of bishops exercising jurisdiction and diocesan standing committees must consent to the bishop-elect's ordination as bishop within 120 days of receiving notice of the election.

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Stanley Cup Fever Anglican/Episcopal Style

From Canada-

Will it be the Very Rev. Peter Elliott in Bruins black and gold at Vancouver’s Christ Church Cathedral on a Sunday soon? Or the Very Rev. John P. Streit Jr. of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston wearing Canucks blue and green?

With the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks headed into game two of the finals on Saturday and the Stanley Cup on the line, the deans of the Episcopal and Anglican cathedral churches in both cities have joined the fray with a friendly wager: The loser will contribute $250 to a good cause of the winner’s choosing and will wear the winning team’s jersey in church on the first Sunday after the finals’ end.

Word on the street is that Jep's payment will go toward the Christ Church Cathedral Building Fund and the imminent Roof Replacement Project.

It turns out that hockey rivalry isn’t these deans’ only bond—the two attended seminary together at Episcopal Divinity School in the late 1970s and then renewed their acquaintance more recently at conferences for cathedral deans.

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